Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I am so glad they announced.

It's been a hard week not talking about these beauties!

My latest yarn support from Knit Picks is Hawthorne because my last design with it deserved a follow up! (I'm also completely hooked on the fiber, so nice.) I was totally surprised though when I received one of their to-be-coming colors. :-)  This is the Hawthorne kettle dye in Faun.

I made sure to take some porch and desk shots before the hanks went on my swift. The yarn is fingering weight and I'm knitting slowly, but happy with the design so far. We are iced in today which makes it a perfect day to have a cup of tea and knit something new.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

More than one way to knit a sock. Rethinking Lucky Lotus Socks

I’ve been thinking about socks a lot lately. My newest in-between knit is this one for my husband.

It’s a very dark blue. I think I have a thing for blue sock yarn looking at my own three pairs out of the wash!

What I love about socks is that they are small knitting, almost private knitting. You wear them in your shoes, under your pants and nobody really needs to know about your knitting habit. It’s just a couple of circular needles or dpns and one ball of yarn, so easy to hide away in a purse. That $28 (or more) yarn you’re using to make those socks, well that information can stay between you and Visa. Nobody should need to know. It’s your own guilty pleasure.

As much as I love blue yarn for socks, it is funny that the one sock I did design is not blue!

I discovered a new way to think about knitting these socks by helping a customer this week.

I had designed the back of the leg to look like this:

And the front of the leg to look like this:

Well that means using the intarsia technique and there would be a seam to stitch up after if you didn’t do the intarsia-in-the-round method.

No problem really, right?

I learned that not everybody likes/knows how/or wants to do intarsia. It came to me that the leg could be stranded around. If you used the contrast color for the purl section of the rib in the back, you would get a cute zing of color and be able to strand the rounds. (Just keep your stitches evenly spaced so you don’t constrict your leg!)

Here are pics from my customer. I think they’ll look great! I can’t wait to see her finished socks.

Front on the left

Back on the right

Knit socks can be what you want them to be. Enjoy the knit!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

There's no explaining

I finished a tricky stitch re-mount from a provisional cast-on and decided to take a break and go grocery shopping. The lady at the checkout tried to get me to chat by asking about the weather and such.

"What does your afternoon look like?" She asked.

I gave her a blank look, a shrug and said, "I'm going to knit."

She sighed and said something about how she took a month to knit a square. I smiled and left. I do have a nice life, but it is hard to explain what I do: knit swatches, write design proposals, knit samples, write patterns.

Swatches can be entertaining as I experiment a lot and have a lot of failures. In the category of can't explain it, I give you "dancers."

Eh, maybe it would work in another gauge. Eh maybe not!

Come to think of it, I can't explain children's book writing either. Oh well, c'est la vie. :-)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Knitting Year

Other than the stuffed toy for my daughter I did knit one gift for my nephew. I had bought two skeins of  The Big Cozy from Knit Picks to try out. I made a nice simple circular cowl off the top of my head.

I only took a couple of quick selfies before wrapping and sending.

It's a bit of a "crazy Auntie" gift but I think my sister likes it. If my nephew doesn't wear it, I think she might, especially when the big cold comes this week.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Almost New Year

I've been busy. But I finished the in-between socks. They even went through one trip in the dryer. (Ooops.)

I've wound up the next skein of sock yarn for my 2015 in-between designing socks but I only have a cast on for them. I have been madly swatching about three different ideas for the latest Knit Picks call. They are asking for "whimsical cute knits." I just had to rise to the occasion!

Here's hoping you all have a good and productive 2015!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Working in Pink

Two months before Christmas I told my daughter I'm not buying her a single toy because you know, Santa is coming. My daughter is very smart. She plopped Rebecca Danger's monster book that I won last year from Knit Picks in front of me reminding me with much sweetness that she had been wanting a monster for some time now.

So she picked Irving. I did some stash diving for some old Icelandic Lopi:

The monster's new name is I-vring!

Pink has been on my mind because I'm working with a pink skein for a headband design for daughter. I hope to have that done soon if I can ever make up my mind on a closure for it.

I've also made some progress on my knit-in-between sock which I'll post soon.

Knitter note: Thank you to all the knitters who are knitting my patterns in this year's Gift-A-Long on Ravelry. It's a joy to see all the lovely projects!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gift-A-Long 2014 Designer Interview with Karen Dawn

Part of the fun of the Gift-A-Long is that designers are matched with other designers to interview on their blogs. I think it's a gift to me to get to know another designer a little better!

Today Karen Dawn put her needles down long enough to answer a few questions.

Q. What does your design process look like? Do you start with the yarn or the idea?

Lots and lots of graph paper, pencils (regular and colored), and erasers. I usually start with stitch pattern ideas and draw lots of charts for how to combine various designs. Then I do some swatching, where I try out different yarns (if I haven’t already decided on one in particular). I’m learning that this swatching is a great use for all those leftovers bits of yarn from various other projects! Then I draw up a rough chart/pattern and make the sample, taking notes as I go in case I made any changes or discover something different from my original plan as I go.
Q. What is your favorite design so far?
Each new design seems to be my current favorite, but my geek heart does love the Don’t Blink Illusion Scarf. That one took lots of planning (I don’t even know how many times I charted out the
various letters on graph paper!) but I’m thrilled with how it turned out--and even more so to have found a weeping angel statue to use for a photo shoot. (By the way, a matching illusion hat is currently in test knitting.)
Q. Is there a knitting technique that you haven’t tried yet that you would like to explore?
I’ve been a pretty adventurous knitter, trying out different techniques when I see patterns that I want to knit which have a technique I haven’t done before. But I think I’d like to do more with double knitting. I’ve done it a bit already but haven’t finished a project using it and definitely would need to brush up on the technique before trying it again as it’s been a couple of years since I tried it. I’d also love to try the technique where you knit two socks at once, one inside the other (which I think is related to double knitting).
Q. What’s your favorite yarn you’ve ever used?
Favorite I’ve ever used? That’s a tough one. Malabrigo Worsted has a special place in my heart (it was my first non-acrylic yarn) and I still use it frequently. And I love anything madelinetosh. But I think if I had to pick a favorite yarn I’ve ever used so far it would be the JulieSpins Juno (merino/silk) that I used to make a beret (which I then gave to a friend because I just don’t look right in a beret).
Q. What’s the one thing you wish you were knitting right now?
A sweater or cardigan for myself out of some madelinetosh tosh dk in tart that I’ve had in my stash since 2009. That yarn is way too pretty to be sitting around for that long!


Well that's all the questions I have right now. Thanks so much Karen!

I hope everybody is enjoying the Gift-A-Long. The 25% off pattern sale goes through Nov. 21 but the knitting, games, and prizes continues on Ravelry here until the year ends!

See you there.